I am participating in the Quaker Journey to Wellness program by Mom Central on behalf of Pepsi Co. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.
My journey to wellness has been a very long one. There have been many stops and starts. I guess the best thing I can say is that I continue to move forward. Last Spring I jump started my journey again by joining a learn-to-run group headed by a good friend of mine who loves running. She got me off of my couch, and with baby steps, to the finish line of my first 5K. I faithfully ran all summer and into the fall. Now that winter has reared it's ugly head in my neck of the woods my runs are done in the comfort of my basement on a treadmill I have affectionately named "Jillian". I love that I have several indoor playgroups to take my little Matthew to over the winter so he can still get time to run around when it is too cold outside to play.
In addition to making time for regular workouts, I try very hard to make sure my family eats well. I like to try out new recipes and foods with my family. I have a one bite rule at the table. You can't reject a food unless you try one bite of it. This is how I found out Emmett's favourite vegetable is Brussel Sprouts! Since my Charlotte is much more of a meat eater I sneak extra veggies in wherever I can. I know that even if she picks the mushrooms and zucchini off the top of the pizza, she will still be getting the carrot I sneakily grated over the sauce before adding toppings. When I pack lunches for school, I try very hard to avoid pre-packaged snacks. One box of granola bars is one snack time in this house, so it gets very costly after a while! On the weekend it is very easy for me to make a big pan of granola bars that lasts all week for my kids. (It is a great way to use Quaker Oats besides cooking them in a bowl or baking them into cookies as well!) This is the recipe I use. As a bonus, it is nut-free which is important as so many schools are nut-free now. I substitute all sorts of things for the cranberries and raisins in the recipe to switch up the flavours. Right now my kids have coconut cranberry bars, but other times I have chopped in dried apples, added chocolate chips, and crispy rice cereal as well.
I am not the only one on a Wellness journey. Fellow Mom Blogger Lynn is documenting her story at quakerjourney.ca. If you join her there you can find out what she is doing to make her life a little healthier as well as have the opportunity to win some prizes on the way. You can find her on Facebook at Quaker Journey to Wellness as well.
Today at Lynn's blog she talked about her favourite way to eat her Quaker Oats. I would like to share with you mine. It is something I came up with a couple of years ago and makes an extra-special treat on a cold snowy morning.
Blueberry Streusel Oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened.
Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
1 cup oats, regular or quick cooking
2 cups water
2/3 cup frozen blueberries*
milk or evaporated milk
In a large microwave bowl combine oats with water. Add a dash of salt, if desired. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes, then 60% power for 5 minutes if using quick cooking oats or 7 minutes if using regular oats.
Immediately divide cooked oatmeal between two large bowls. Top hot cereal with approx 2 tablespoons streusel each and and divide berries between the bowls. Mix well. Top with milk or evaporated milk to taste.
*You can thaw the berries beforehand if you want, but it helps the cereal cool down faster, which is great if you have hungry impatient kids waiting for breakfast!
You will have steusel left over, but just put it in a plastic container and store in a cool place.